Reactors at Fukushima will not reach recriticality
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Information as of March 20 01:14 JST.
Why the situation will not reach recriticality at Fukushima Daiichi
“Let me talk about a recriticality (when nuclear fission reactions keep occurring like when the power plant is operating) in terms of the nuclear reactor and the spent fuel pool.
"For a light-water nuclear reactor to achieve criticality, three things need to happen:
- As long as the control rods are suppressing the fuel rods, a critical situation will not occur
- Spent nuclear fuel cannot reach criticality without water.
- The pool in Unit 3 does have water (the steam coming out is from the water) but it will not go critical, because the fuel batches are not aligned in a way to reach criticality.
About the spread of radioactive material
“As long as the containment vessels in Unit 1, 2, and 3 have not been damaged, radioactive material will not be released outside. “Spent fuel has been exposed to air and has been releasing small amounts of radioactive material. The lighter radioactive material has already been released in the form of a hydrogen gas explosion and has already spread out. As long as there are no more explosions, it is unlikely that any more will be released. I don’t think radiation levels will go much higher than what they are now.
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